University of Bristol and Severn Foundation School 

We offer a wide range of project areas within the domains outlined below.  Each programme has an identified lead senor academic clinician and multiple potential academic project supervisors.  Within this framework we are able to flexibly develop project ideas with trainees to design achievable, productive studies to make the most of the research block.

For any general Academic Programme queries please contact:

Tony Pickering

Professor Tony Pickering SFP Director.



Anaesthetics, Pain and Critical Care 

Our research covers a broad spectrum from basic science investigations on pain and analgesia, cardiovascular and respiratory control, and mechanisms of anaesthesia to clinical studies in patient populations.  We have a successful and flourishing cohort of trainee academics whose research is conducted across multiple research areas within the Bristol Neuroscience and Cardiovascular themes at the University of Bristol.  The successful applicants will be offered a broad choice of research projects and supervisors (examples of recent project areas include pain control, aerosol generating procedures, hibernation and torpor, nutrition in critical care and wound healing). 

Posts: 2 per year

Lead: Professor Tony Pickering 


Cardiology in the Bristol Heart Institute has an active programme of research with academic clinical trainees undertaking projects alongside basic scientists, translational medicine, and clinical academics. Professor Tom Johnson is leading applied clinical research in the field of interventional cardiology and cardiovascular risk using advanced intracoronary imaging techniques combined with large clinical datasets to impact coronary artery disease. Dr Angus Nightingale leads an established research team of clinicians and scientists investigating novel mechanisms in hypertension and heart failure with a focus on young onset hypertension and the progression from cardiac hypertrophy to heart failure.

Posts: 2 per year

Lead: Dr Angus Nightingale

Clinical Epidemiology / Public Health (incl. Nutrition)

Clinical epidemiology is the discipline that determines causes of disease in populations and combined with health services research evaluates diagnostic, prognostic and clinical interventions. The Department of Population Health Science is a leading centre for life course and genetic epidemiology, health services research and public health in the UK. The attachment will enable the trainee to learn about specific epidemiological and statistical methods through the hands-on analysis of data that has already been collected, leading to a peer-reviewed publication. There may also be opportunities to observe or help with data collection. Current areas of interest include cardiometabolic disease, prostate and other cancers, early life origins of chronic diseases, Mendelian Randomisation, genetic epidemiology (including population genetics, epigenetics, metabolomics, proteomics), mental health, evidence synthesis and neurodegenerative disorders. Through our Bristol Biomedical Research Centre, we also provide the necessary resources to undertake clinical nutrition research, including optimising nutrition in children with chronic disease and sedentary behaviour in people with diabetes.

Posts: 3 per year (1 in Clinical Nutrition)

Lead: Kyla Thomas

Emergency Medicine

Ambulance 2The Research in Emergency Care Avon Collaborative Hub (REACH) is a mature research group across both University of Bristol and the University of the West of England. We are leading nationally in the growing field of emergency care, achieving notable funding success in a wide range of emergency trials and service delivery research. We host the Royal College Trainee Emergency Medicine Research Network and the NIHR Academy Emergency Care Incubator and offer wide ranging opportunities through mentorship and training for future emergency care academics. Our broad range of projects include major trauma trials (chest injury), frailty in trauma, cardiac arrest (airways), infection and pre-hospital diagnostics.

Posts: 2 per year

Lead: Dr Edward Carlton

Haematology and Genomic Medicine

The programme is hosted by the Academic Haematology Group at University of Bristol which focusses on the genomics of rare blood disorders and traits such as cell counts, bleeding and thrombosis. We utilise statistical approaches to identify new genes and informatics to assess variant pathogenicity and disease mechanism. The group has as functional laboratory for deep phenotyping of clinical samples and variant characterisation in cell lines and zebrafish. Through close links with the NHS Genomic Medicine Service and the NIHR BioResource rare disease, our repertoire has expanded to other rare disease areas relevant to multiple clinical specialties.

Posts: 2 per year

Lead: Professor Andrew Mumford


We focus on research into Dementia, Movement disorders, Neonatal brain injury, Multiple Sclerosis and stem cell therapies – collectively forming the Institute of Clinical Neurosciences. This is now housed predominantly in new purpose built clinical and laboratory research centres in Southmead Hospital. We take a multidisciplinary approach ranging from basic neurobiological investigations, through experimental medicine and clinical trials, MRI imaging and human brain bank studies. Our overriding aim is to address some of the key therapeutic challenges facing our population.

Posts 2 per year

Lead: Dr Elizabeth Coulthard

Obstetrics and Neonatology

foot 1689784 640The Academic Women’s Health Unit (AWHU) is a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals and academics conducting research across a broad range of Women’s Health themes including: maternal medicine, stillbirth & preterm birth prevention, perinatal and neonatal care, bereavement care and reproductive health, aiming to improve outcomes for mother and babies through improved antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care. The Unit has a worldwide reputation for its work in improving outcomes for mothers and their babies.

Posts: 2 per year

Lead: Dr Christy Burden



The overarching aim of the Bristol Ophthalmology group is to advance population health, scientific knowledge, and patient care through eye and vision research. Ophthalmology is the busiest outpatient specialty in the UK. Our group has a diverse portfolio of clinical and basic science research supported by diverse local and national collaborations that provide access to state-of-the-art facilities and expertise at the University of Bristol.  Additionally, Bristol Eye Hospital is partnered with the Moorfields Eye Hospital NIHR Biomedical Research Centre and runs a range of investigator-driven and commercial research studies through its Clinical Research Unit.

Posts: 2 per year

Lead: Dr Denize Atan


These posts will be attached to the clinical and research teams based around the purpose-built Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, a tertiary referral centre for the South West. Paediatric research is a particular strength in Bristol and we are able to offer excellent opportunities in a range of areas including:

  • Infectious diseases (joint with microbiology) focuses on the diagnosis, pathogenesis and immune responses to respiratory bacteria and viruses.
  • The Centre for Child and Adolescent Health with research in: Child development and disability, Children’s complex health needs, chronic fatigue and Childhood injury. We also have a strong interest in international child health and have collaborations with overseas partners.
  • Renal Research - we have an active and vibrant research group examining renal biology with a strong translational and integrative focus.
  • Cardiology with particular interest in pulmonary hypertension aligned to the BRU in the Bristol Heart Institute.

Posts: 3 per year

Leads: Professor Richard Coward and Professor Esther Crawley


Primary Health Care

Academic primary care is situated in the Department of Population Health Science. In the 2008 RAE, 70% of our research was rated either 4* or 3* (of international standing). We have a long and strong track record of supporting medical students on SSCs and electives, and training academic GPs with particular success in supporting would be academic GPs as Specialised F2s, academic GP registrars and training fellows. Our current areas of interest include primary care mental health including domestic violence, service delivery, infectious diseases in children, childhood obesity and cardio-vascular medicine. We use a wide range of research methodologies.

Posts: 2 per year

Lead: Professor Debbie Sharp
University of Bristol - Centre for Academic Primary Care


Photograph Phrenology a ceramic head Wellcome L0002360Psychiatric research is now benefiting from the substantial growth in neuroscience over the past 10-15 years and this will have increasing influence over new treatments and understanding of mechanisms: biological, psychological and social. We run a wide range of research projects in the Centre of Academic Mental Health Research, including studies involving experimental psychology designs, randomised controlled trials and large population based longitudinal studies such as ALSPAC.

Posts: 2 per year

Lead: Dr Helen Bould


The Academic Renal Unit has an international reputation for the study of glomerular diseases, such as diabetic nephropathy, and for work in vascular biology linking renal and cardiovascular disease. The ARU comprises forty researchers providing a supportive, friendly and stimulating environment for a range of laboratory-based projects encompassing cell and molecular biology, in vivo models and genetics. 

Work in renal epidemiology and health services research, centred in the UK Renal Registry in collaboration with the Department of Population Health Science, includes chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury, quality of life and pragmatic evaluation of quality improvement initiatives.

Posts: 2 per year

Lead: Professor Simon Satchell


Respiratory disease places a large burden on society in terms of disability and premature mortality, costing the NHS £6.6 billion per year. The Academic Respiratory Unit is a multi-disciplinary team and our aim is to improve the diagnosis, management and treatment of lung disease by a translational research strategy including: Cell Biology - focused on lung injury and repair; Respiratory Neuroscience - functional MR-imaging in lung disease; Pleural Clinical Trials – supporting NIHR Portfolio & commercial studies.

Posts: 2 per year

Lead: Professor Nick Maskell


26458650941 58235d2762 oOur research group based at the University of Bath works on the spectrum of Immune Mediated Inflammatory Diseases (IMID’s) including Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Myositis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Axial Spondylitis and Scleroderma, building on 300 years of research from the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases. The overarching goal is to improve the lives of people with IMID’s through earlier diagnosis, improved assessment, personalised treatment strategies and contribution to and implementation of international guidelines. Our research strategy touches each point of the disease journey and ranges from basic science laboratory-based research, biomarker identification and assay development to cohort and other large epidemiological studies and clinical trials.

Posts: 1 per year

Lead: Professor Neil McHugh


The trainee will join the thriving Surgical Trials Centre led by Jane Blazeby, Professor of Surgery, based at the Department of Population health Science. This includes 3 academic clinical lecturers, an academic clinical fellow and 5 surgical PhD students. The surgical trials centre works closely with the MRC ConDuCT Methodology Hub which is a multi-disciplinary team of methodologists including statisticians, social scientists, health economists and clinicians. Within the trials centres are several on going randomised controlled trials in surgery of all specialities. Trainees will be offered a choice of health services research projects aimed to provide experience of designing and conducting randomised trials in surgery or understanding methodology relevant to surgical trials.

Posts: 3 per year 

Lead: Miss Natalie Blencowe